A common theme in this week's readings had to do with the media taking the lead on issues, not following them. Granting this is jumping the gun a bit...but I am more worried about the fact that if the media is leading, that means that others are not. Due to the CNN effect, curve, complex, factor--call it what you will--consumers expect to be informed immediately. This necessitates that those generally providing the news--managers, government officials, experts--are forced to provide statements before fully familiarizing themselves with the issues. This is not a new topic, I realize this. However, when I was reading these articles one image kept playing in my mind. President Bush's photo staring out the window onto the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Recently, since Bush's return to the media, he has again voiced his remorse for having this photo taken and published. He did not think of the consequences at the time, and the media--and thus the public--was demanding some sort of a statement. What is equally as frightening is that these rushed statements and photos will never disappear. Granted, I suppose you could use microfilm to pull up clippings from a century ago, but with today's technology the past is the present whenever someone uses the Google search feature. So what is the solution? Working on that one for now. But in the mean time, I'll give my sympathy vote to those being splashed around the press when their intentions were to appease the people's call of producing something.